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Where is your common sense in judging tax payers?

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Oprah earned $222,000,000 last year. She likely paid a lower percentage in taxes than you or I did. Do you hate her for being intelligent enough to become wealthy and give mega money to the charities of her choice (many of them are outside the United States) rather than the government?

Do you despise Romney or Brad Pitt for being wealthy and giving their money to the charities of their choice?

Do you feel people lose their common sense during the months prior to Presidential elections in political debate?

Comments

RoeDapple 1 year, 12 months ago

Why do I feel I've been asked if I support the experienced idiot or the better qualified idiot?

;-)

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 12 months ago

Escuseamente, Senor, but I believe you are mixed up a little bit there. There are only going to be two men running and only one is, shall we say, not up to the rigors of communication with our international allies. I must now ask you this about Senor Primo Uno, our light hearted friend with the dark complexion.
Are you all fired up?
Are you ready to go?
Senora I LOVE OBAMA is!!!!!!!!!!

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 12 months ago

You got a point there. I was aiming at humor, hit something way off to the side. I have no idea what happened to the last sentence.
Lo siento, just call me Lucy. :-)

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Katara 1 year, 12 months ago

I feel like this blog has no common sense.

It is interesting that the author chooses words such as "hate" & "despise" to describe people who feel that the rich should pay more in taxes. One can feel that wealthier people can pay more in taxes and not hate or despise the wealthy. Conversely, one can feel that social programs can be cut without hating or despising the poor (Unfortunately, that is not how that debate is framed in terms of social program cuts when those who desire the cuts label lower income folks as moochers or leeches.).

The author also sets up a false dichotomy - a wealthy person pays less in taxes but donates to charities or the wealthy person pays more in taxes and does not donate to charities. It is not an either/or situation and the author lacks common sense in trying to frame the issue as such.

Of course, the author also ignores the fact that one of the many reasons a wealthy person could pay a lower percentage in taxes is because of the amount of money donated to charitable causes as charitable donations are a tax deduction. Additionally, charitable donations are used quite often as a tax strategy. It serves the purpose of decreasing the tax liability and it also serves to generate good publicity for that particular person.

What really defies common sense is the general sense that the author is somehow implying that these wealthy people are better people because they have more money to do good things. There is the implication that they should be allowed to have the lower tax rate because they do good things with the "extra" money.

Anyway, research shows that lower income households donate a bigger percentage of their income to charity than do wealthier households. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22FOB-wwln-t.html

I find that much more admirable than what Oprah, Brad Pitt and Mitt Romney do combined.

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jaywalker 1 year, 12 months ago

That's a an extremely disappointing response from you Kat. Seems like you have a problem with the "author" (there are only 5 sentences; first, that does not an "author" make; second, of course she didn't consider all that in her blog - it's only five sentences. )

But I especially like how you choose to highlight all the devious reasons someone wealthy might donate. I find it particularly sad when someone I find intelligent has devolved into the equivalent of that which they loathe; by that I mean, it's that kind of rigid loathing for the 'opponent' that discredits jerks like Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck. More's the pity.

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Katara 1 year, 12 months ago

I'll respond to you and then I am done with this as Rhonda (since you dislike the term author, although that is what she is - the author of this blog) will simply move the goalposts (again - as she has done so twice so far.) and I don't appreciate it when people do that. It strikes me as dishonest.

There is nothing devious about using charitable donations as a tax strategy. It is one that is recommended by many tax accountants and tax attorneys. I am not sure why you find it devious as it is a legitimate way to reduce one's tax liability.

Further, it does generate good publicity and good will for the donor. There is nothing devious about that. It is simply a marketing strategy for the donor's name. The only thing devious I could think about wanting good publicity is because you've done something to generate bad publicity (Think all the donations BP made to various environmental groups after the oil spill in the Gulf).

There is no "opponent" concept going on here. Much like Rhonda you are suggesting a false dichotomy - either I must find "positive" reasons for the wealthy to donate or I am "loathing" them. It is not an either/or situation and pointing out that charitable donations are used as a tax strategy by the wealthy is pretty neutral and non-political. I don't find anything devious about using legitimate tax strategies to reduce a tax liability.

You don't see lower income folks using charitable donations much as an overall tax strategy because the donations have a much smaller impact on their tax liability even though studies show they donate a bigger percentage of their income to charity. This is an example of where actual dollars donated count rather than percentage when trying to reduce one's taxes.

Also, lower income folks are less likely to itemize their deductions while the wealthy are more likely to do so. Charitable donations only impact your tax liability if you itemize. There is also nothing devious about that. You work with what you got.

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Katara 1 year, 12 months ago

An additional thought to the wall o' text above...

If you are fine with the wealthy utilizing legitimate tax strategies (taking advantage of all deductions, exemptions & credits they are legally allowed to take) to reduce their tax liability, then you cannot complain about the 47% of households who do not pay Federal Income Tax for doing the same.

And for the record, I am fine with both. You cannot be upset with people who take advantage of things that they are legally allowed to utilize. Even if the system favors the wealthy (and it does), they are still legally allowed to plan a tax strategy that allows them to lower their tax liability.

If you feel it unfair then the solution is to change the tax laws so one group is not as favored over the other. Since "fair" is subjective, not everything will be equal but there should be a level playing field.

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beatrice 1 year, 12 months ago

I agree with Katara. Believing a class should pay a higher tax rate is not about hating those people. It is recognizing that we have given tax cuts during times of war and massive deficits. Why is investment income taxed at a lower rate than money made off of the sweat of one's brow? Don't both forms of income count as, you know, income? Also, if we are to pay off our deficits, it will not come from cuts in spending alone and it can't come off the backs of the poor. The poor, after all, are poor. They don't have the money.

Also, I do not believe anyone should get a tax break for giving money to a religion that maintains and builds castles:

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tomatogrower 1 year, 12 months ago

I think tax deductions should only go for the poor. Churches should be required to keep track of what goes towards the needy and what goes to the building fund and the preacher pay. For example, you give $100 to your church. $50 dollars go to their fund to help the homeless or addiction or for someone needy. $50 dollars go to building a new church building or sending missionaries to other countries or paying the preacher. Only $50 should be deductible.

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jaywalker 1 year, 12 months ago

"Why is investment income taxed at a lower rate than money made off of the sweat of one's brow?"

Because much of the time the money invested was made off the sweat of someone's brow? I know that's the story with my investments.

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bevy 1 year, 12 months ago

I might agree with you if building/maintaining castles is ALL that a particular religion does. But you discount all of their other work - feeding and clothing the poor and hungry, helping the sick and needy. If the fact that they use some of that money to glorify God through architecture offends you, then don't give them your money! That's the great thing about America.

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jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

Perhaps separating the charitable work from the other spending would be a good idea.

Give them tax relief for the percentage of income spent on charitable work, but not on building temples.

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Armstrong 1 year, 12 months ago

If you lean to the left and are rich you are enlightened, you care, you are a forward thinker. Tthe same amount of money for right however, you stole it from the poor, inherited it ( unless you're Paris Hilton ), you are a scam artist. Oh the wonders of being on tv.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 12 months ago

Where has anyone said any of what you imply. Quit putting words in people's mouths, Oprah and Romney should both be paying the same rate or more than a poor person. Capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as the waitress' pay.

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Hoots 1 year, 12 months ago

I agree the media has a huge bias when it comes to who has money. If you're a rich conservative you are portrayed as being evil but if you're a Hollywood type they portray them as wonderful. Many wealthy people give money in large sums to charity. Lets not forget these people in turn get huge tax deductions for doing so regardless of whether they're a Koch brother or Opera. The thing I find troubling is the people who will miss the money most pay a much higher effective rate. It's not like Opera will be eating Raman noodles if she has to pay a few million more a year in taxes.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

RoeD, I've been feeling that way quite a bit these days as well.

Frankie8 (how's the novel - I keep forgetting to ask you....but then it is not as though i am seeing you ). Why the Spanish accent?

Bea and Kat, I do disagree. While I agree that hating, despising, fearing, and feelings of jealousy should not be emotions directed towards those who are wealthy (often times Republicans), they certainly are not uncommon ones for people to express.

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Katara 1 year, 12 months ago

And those feelings are directed back to lower income folks in many more ways. Do you not pay attention to the discourse regarding government assistance?

While animosity towards the wealthy may not be uncommon, it doesn't make it a true statement that people who feel that they wealthy should pay more in taxes hate, despise, fear or are jealous of them.

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jaywalker 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm sorry, are you stating that discourse from conservative politicians comes out as "hating, despising, fearing, and feelings of jealousy" "and many more ways" towards the poor?

If so, that's sad.

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Katara 1 year, 12 months ago

Have you read the posts coming from self-identified conservative* posters on this forum? I was not referring directly to conservative politicians (Are they any of those left anymore?). And it does not appear that Rhonda was referring to politicians but rather the attitudes in our society.

People who receive government assistance are "moochers" and "leeches" on our society according to those folks. They have also been labeled as immoral (they are lazy and have no work ethic), promiscuous (they just have more babies so they can get more welfare), criminals (they commit fraud) and more.

You are aware that the myth of the "welfare queen" comes from a politician who (at least used to be - I am not so sure he is thought so highly of by the current bunch) is considered one of the best conservative politicians in our history?

The vitriol directed at the poor is far greater than the vitriol directed at the wealthy. And, unfortunately, it is far more acceptable in our society to disparage those who are less fortunate.

Look at any conversation that comes up here regarding the 47% of households who do not pay Federal Income Tax if you don't believe me. And then look at the number of "thumbs up" next to their comments.

*They are not true conservatives and we have both made comments on how they are being misidentified as such.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 12 months ago

I loved the novel, wrote a blog about it. Now I want a sequel. I really liked Deborah. She had some cool friends at the flea market.
My goal is to get a camera with film, and learn to develop it. I have a closet that would be perfect. I now have a Nikon digital that I carry everywhere. I was waiting for a bus yesterday, looking around and thinking that if Deborah were there she would see a picture that demonstrated something important about what I was seeing. I was getting upset with myself because I couldn't see it. As for the Spanish I was in my Robin Williams mode. What can I say?

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Armstrong and Hoots, it's nice to see you have the common sense that eluded Kat and Bea in discerning the blog topic. ;()

There is a very real bias by the press, democrats and liberals when it comes to whom they decide to judge as acceptable for what they do in or out of country with their mega millons.

This author 'implied' nothing about the weathier person (whether movie star, billionaire businessman, athlete) giving more or less to charities. That was an apparent judgement colored by your own thinking rather than what you read, Bea and Kat. But that's okay as I've misunderstood people and their intent before too.

I'm simply finding it interesting to note the acceptance by many of one group of people, such as entertainers, and not for other classes, or political parties.

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Katara 1 year, 12 months ago

Standard response. The author denies responsibility for her words and blames others on their interpretations from her use of loaded terms.

You are not simply finding it interesting to note acceptance (and when did Mitt Romney become an entertainer? You lumped him in with celebrities.). You are making value judgments when you choose to use the words you used.

It is interesting to note that you completely ignored the info about how lower income households donate a greater percentage of their income than wealthier households. Those should be the folks you are blogging about. They are making a greater sacrifice overall. That part always seems to get lost in the discussion. I guess people don't remember the parable of the widow's mite.

Anyhow, standard fare for a Rhonda blog. My fault for responding to something that I already knew the outcome.

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beatrice 1 year, 12 months ago

Your intent might have been one thing, but by stating very clearly that you say others "hate" and "despise" the wealthy brought responses making it clear that you wrong. It isn't others people hate or despise, but the system that favors one class over others.

However, feel free to say I do not have common sense or am unable to read with comprehension if it makes you feel better. Attempting to put others down is what some people need to do in order to build themselves up.

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meggers 1 year, 12 months ago

I will just add that the Mormon church contributes little to real charity. Instead, they build temples and investments, often on the backs of poorer Mormons who are still expected to tithe 10% no matter their financial circumstances. To do otherwise means ostracization from the church.

CATO, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute all enjoy the same 'charity' status as a homeless shelter, food kitchen, or battered women's shelter. The irony is that the first three promote policies that require an increased need for real charity.

Brad Pitt has donated his time and money to true charity. Based on what little information he has provided, Mitt Romney has not.

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PhilChiles 1 year, 12 months ago

I don't have any idea how much Oprah paid in taxes, and apparently neither does the author. (If there was a fact in there stating otherwise, I missed it.) So it's a series of questions. I'll say that I definitely don't hate any of those people for giving to charity. That was easy!

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Fair enough Phil. Considering we all pay different tax amounts depending on our situation, it shouldn't be too difficult to comprehend that if Orah paid less that most tax payers, she isn't paying much compared to her percentage of worth. It's good you don't judge people negatively based on their tax bill.

Meggars, regardless, it's Romney's choice just as it should be, as it is for Pitt and as it is for Oprah.

Pitt donates to 'true' charity'. Who are we to judge that Pitt's choices are more deserving than a gift towards a temple or MS - which Romney's wife has.

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PhilChiles 1 year, 12 months ago

Hey, their tax bill is a different story. I thought we were talking about charity? I know that for Mitt, the big issue lately has been whether or not he pays his fair share of taxes; I haven't heard much about his donations to charity being controversial. The main criticism seems to be linked to the idea that he uses tax loopholes and other tricks to evade taxation, and charitable giving would be a slightly different issue That might make a good subject for another blog. If he gets tax deductions for charitable giving that benefits people it's ok with me.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Phil, it's a rather mixed bag. People do get deductions for donating to charities of course, but from what I've read his donations were mostly cash which doesn't make them the best source for a tax write off. He also gives stock in his company. I tied the two together and that is why some people felt I was suggesting that those wealthy people who pay less taxes, by cheating or utilizing a tax attorney fully, however one views it, give more to charity. That seems to be the case with Oprah and other big name entertainers, but it isn't a given.

I'm more interested in the double standard people, who may be labeled as liberals, hold entertainers to as opposed to Republicans or politicians. I am not aware of anyone I know trying to pay a 'higher' tax rate. And there are people who don't donate to any charity. These days, some people can't afford even the most humble in offerings.

I believe there is an interesting psychological twist that goes on in the observer when it comes to someone else's accumulated wealth. If one who doesn't have wealth is in alliance with what the wealthy person does with their money, then the judgement is either not present or is much lower. For example, one who holds Oprah in high esteem thinks of her as a humanitarian because of all the assistance she has given to schools for girls in Africa. Another person, who doesn't watch her show or enjoy her personality,may think she's not doing nearly what she should be doing with her amassed wealth.

Ok, I'm going to go count pennies now before I go grocery shopping. ;()

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

No one earns The cosmos discerns A hill of beans or Three mansions it seems Gold plates and walls Gowns and balls to attend Another's chagrin a slap on the chin No life isn't fair But it is what we make Of it....so no more bemoaning I've a fish I'm deboning Left over stew Add spices, a few Tasty enough to set Before Romney, Oprah or Pitt They'd all get one lick

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 12 months ago

No one earns
The cosmos discerns
A hill of beans or
Three mansions it seems
Gold plates and walls
Gowns and balls to attend
Another's chagrin a slap on the chin
No life isn't fair
But it is what we make
Of it....so no more bemoaning I've a fish I'm deboning
Left over stew Add spices, a few
Tasty enough to set Before Romney, Oprah or Pitt
They'd all get one lick

There, fixed it so each sentence is a sentence. Just put angle bracket, br, angle bracket. at the end of each sentence.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Larry,

I feel much as you about our choices this year. I'm undecided at this point. I am interested in watching debates - love, love, love debates. I believe the ones between our VP candidates will truly amuse me.

I also agree with you in that Romney shouldn't be blamed for following the tax code. Truly, who would not......

With interest the political wheels begin to churn, who flung poo at who and how much sticks. If only I could get some of that manure to my rose bed....is donkey doo or elephant doo the best poo doo? Ok, I'll stop

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LadyJ 1 year, 12 months ago

Boy Ronda, some people just can't play nice. Yes, this election will be truly interesting.---- Do the doo----- sorry, couldn't help it. Here's a website that may help you decide on the manure thing. They also recommend the urine, but no way I'm going there.
http://floridagardener.com/manures/soilamend.htm

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beatrice 1 year, 12 months ago

Ronda, you are mistaking a dislike of the system that favors the wealthy expressed by me and Katara for the dislike of the wealthy people themselves. Regarding who are we to judge whether or not a charitable contribution is worthy, I am an American who much help subsidize the tax breaks given to contributors. I believe that gives me every right to judge the worthiness of a contribution. I do believe giving tax breaks to people who give money to build castles is unworthy of tax breaks and I feel fully justified in making that statement as a tax payer. It has nothing to do with Romney's party or how he makes his money. I don't feel it justified when Harry Reid does it and I don't agree with it when Tom Cruise (actor) gets a tax break for giving to the Church of Scientology.

I also don't agree in giving a $77,000 tax break for buying a fancy horse. The system that allows this to be a tax break is what I dislike. I do not dislike the person for taking advantage of the system that allows it any more than I dislike the horse itself. It is the type of tax break given to those who do not deserve them that is the issue. Wanting to give even further breaks on this order is a mistake, in my opinion.

Also, wealth isn't always gained through one's intelligence. Sometimes it is gained by having no feeling about exploiting other human beings. Of course, sometimes it is gained through hard work and intelligence ... but not always. Sometimes it is inherited. It truly is much easier to score a run if you are born on third base in a country that has a system that favors those born on third base. I do not believe there should be a difference in how you make your money, it should be taxed equally. If you make your moeny from labor, why is that taxed at a higher rate than if you make your money from cashing dividend checks? That makes no sense to me.

Unless people actually claim to hate or despise a certain class, then it is clear you are making judgments about others that is unwarranted and inaccurate. It isn't "the rich," it is the system that upholds the rich over others that is the issue. I don't see why you need to personalize it.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 12 months ago

I cannot understand why anyone would not vote for President Obama. He is Intelligent, articulate and competent. He thinks about all the consequences before he either acts or makes a statement. He knows how to talk to international leaders with respect and courtesy, and they respond favorably to that. He has gravitas. He can be totally focused and serious or he can give that marvelous smile and crack a joke. He is a wonderful husband and father.
Michele married him.

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Armstrong 1 year, 12 months ago

When you get past your crush look at - Wait for it Failed economic policy Failed with unemployment Failed foreign policy Failed ..... But he does have a nice smile. Our nation is in truly in trouble

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 12 months ago

How could anyone on welfare NOT like Obama?

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rockchalker52 1 year, 12 months ago

DunnoWhaChurTalkinBout so here's a vid about the taxman:

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Oh oh I'm the taxman. I'll tax the pennies on your eyes.... Taxman. Thanks, jay52

Let us remember many fab entertainers live in the US because our taxes are lower than other places.

Back to the material at hand, which is quickly becoming fodder for my rose bushes - so.... I say testing the murky waters cautiously, gingerly....Kat (may I call you such) do you hold the same feelings towards all tax payers and evaders whether entertainer or politician?

Maybe you've already answered that - my mind goes blank when I don't observe a great amount of white space per square space on site.

Frankie.....I take it you've become my new editor? I've won the lottery! The Irish lottery!

LadyJ, want to come to our next backyard event and befriend me?

Guess_again - succinct. I like that about you....succinct.

I may try writing a semi political blog and ask that people reply with one word responses, but even that frightens me.

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LadyJ 1 year, 12 months ago

Only if it's not too hot, unlike Roe, I don't do hot.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Btw, Rock, I'd pay you good hard cash (so you can bypass the taxman) to ad a Beatles time to my blogs to lighten the mood and make my bitty black dried out heart breathe easier for a couple of minutes. Harrison is an absolute favorite. Thank you.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm not sure if this blogger is upset, because people want to see Romney's tax returns, but not Oprah's. There is a huge difference here. Oprah is not running for office. And, yes, I do think she should pay more in taxes, than someone making $50,000/year. I will probably be in the higher tax rate if anyone has the balls to raise taxes, or we get rid of the war time tax cuts. But I'm ok with that. Does this tell you where I stand? I think we need to pay for these wars, whether or not we agreed with them. Especially before we get caught up in another war.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 12 months ago

How many jobs exist because Oprah . . . is Oprah? Same with Romney, Obama, Gates (Bill), Rockefeller, Etc.? If you add up all the taxes collected because these people (and other wealthy people) make jobs by their very existence, then how many tax dollars does someone like Oprah truly generate?

Okay, this can of worms is officially opened.

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LadyJ 1 year, 12 months ago

So when Oprah gives the audience and people that appeared on her show expensive gifts, does she give them extra money to pay the taxes for the gifts. Just wondering. I remember that the people on the Price is Right sometimes had trouble paying the taxes for winning. Or do Oprah's gifts not count because they are gifts?

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beatrice 1 year, 12 months ago

If you believe in trickle-down economics, then consider that the stock market has seen huge gains during Obama's time in office. It has gone from 7,949 to 13,000+, during a period when the top income brackets are paying record lows in taxes. The Mitt Romneys, Oprahs, Bill Gates, etc... are doing much, much better than they were three and a half years ago. So where are the jobs?

Corporations are paying record amounts to CEOs and are making record profits. Where are the jobs?

Let us ask Romney how he is doing compared to four years ago, and then ask, where are all the jobs the so-called job creators are supposedly creating?

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tomatogrower 1 year, 12 months ago

Roe, I think you can gift a person up to $20,000 before the giftee has to pay taxes. It might be more now.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 12 months ago

Where I'm coming from is last year when Oprah did her "final" show it was reported 250 employees were laid off. 1/3 of her total employees. This would indicate there are 500 tax paying jobs that, should Oprah no longer be among the living, would be unemployed/looking for work. That's a lot of tax dollars she generates just by being her.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 12 months ago

Hi Jesse! I'm off on a slight tangent I guess, not really talking about Oprah's personal taxes, but more how her decisions can affect her employees. 250 employees laid off would have a considerable impact on taxes paid out through her companies payroll. The other side of that coin might be having "most recent employer; Oprah Winfrey" on your resume could open a door or two in the job hunt.

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verity 1 year, 12 months ago

Since Oprah is starting her own network, it's probable that she will be employing even more people---and paying even more taxes.

Sorry to say it, but it appears to me that your argument makes no sense on any level.

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beatrice 1 year, 12 months ago

But Oprah made 220 million last year. Certainly with all that extra money she rehired all those people, and then some ... or so the story of the job creators tend to go. Reality is, she just has that much more money.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Tomato, how are your tomatoes growing this year? I've had rotten luck this year and last.

I'm not upset about anything, I'm merely putting a topic out for discussion. I believe taxes should be raised so generations following us don't have this insane deficit hanging over their heads. It's time to reel it in and get real. And spending must be slowed down. And no more war, please.

LadyJ, Roe does like it hot....and he's stirring things up too! He's quite good at that.

As to your question about Oprah's giveaways: ;loosely para phrased) New York Post's John Crudele says this: Oprah gave away 300 2112 VW Beetles last year. Her 'people' made a good faith estimate of tax owed and paid it on the recipients' behalf.

Of course in reality, these are not gifts from Oprah, but promotions between Oprah's show and different companies. If the items were gifts and under $13,000, then they would be tax free.

One needs to remember that each person who received the 'gifts' falls into a different tax bracket depending on their personal situation - the 'gifts' could end up putting them in a higher tax bracket.

Let's face it, they still come out ahead. ;()

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 12 months ago

Taxes are high enough, I pay enough taxes to purchase a new car every year. It burns my butt they take from me and give to able bodied people who are protected by the system.

Raising taxes is not the only answer. Unless they cut entitlement spending they have no reason to raise the taxes.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Exactly, Larry and Roe. If businesses can't afford to hire and/or have to lay people off because their business is failing, for whatever reason, it isn't benefiting the economy. Higher taxes absolutely hurt small businesses and those start up businesses.

And I just said I'm for raising taxes! It's a mixed bag - no wonder no one seems to be able to stop the debt snowball effect.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 12 months ago

"Fair", in the context of taxes, is a concept that there will never be consensus on. Never. I doubt seriously that we will ever have even a simple plurality agree what constitutes "fair". I would suggest that when discussing taxes, leave that undefined, ill conceived, ambiguous notion out of the discussion. Decide how much to collect and then collect it. Twenty percent from everyone, thirty percent, whatever.

Open the Pandora's box of deductions at your own peril, for once deductions begin, they will never end. KISS (Keep It Simple, S*).

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 12 months ago

A flat tax. You, me, Romney, we all pay the same percentage. No deductions.

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jafs 1 year, 12 months ago

Yes, it's hard to get any sort of consensus on fairness.

But, if you throw that away, what do you base the tax structure on?

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

Frankie, I just read your response about the novel. I agree that it is a creative and cool way to go through life - a camera in your hand. It was a terrific way for the character to tell her story.

But look at it this way, you can also look at things as though you have a camera in your hands. Just allow yourself to be objective and a bit off center. Let me know how that works for you. Now I need to locate your blog!

As far as your Spanish goes.... It's better than mine. Love Robin Williams.....

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 12 months ago

J, I agree. The more simple and straightforward the better. Life isn't fair, taxes aren't fair, death isn't fair.... They just are. I like the idea of a set percentage for all - and free health care for all....

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rockchalker52 1 year, 12 months ago

Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others. - Oscar Wilde

Ever wonder why the IRS calls it Form 1040? Because for every $50 that you earn, you get 10 and they get 40. - anonymous

I'm proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is—I could be just as proud for half the money. - Arthur Godfrey

The tax collector must love poor people, he's creating so many of them. - Bill Vaughan

It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for. - Will Rogers

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today. - Herman Wouk

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. - John Maynard Keynes

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. - Winston Churchill

Isn't it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool's Day and ends with cries of 'May Day!'? - Rob Knauerhase

Instead of taking the pants off the taxpayer it might be better to take the vest off the vested interests. - Mark Twain

The IRS has turned the American people into the largest group of liars in the history of history. - Harold Harmon.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 12 months ago

Toimato grower said:

Where has anyone said any of what you imply. Quit putting words in people's mouths, Oprah and Romney should both be paying the same rate or more than a poor person. Capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as the waitress' pay.

Moderte Opined:

Capital Gains are already taxed more than a waitress is. For the wealthy they should be taxed more - much more.

Oprah and Romney should be taxed a lot more. maybe at least twice as much on the margin

Why do so many of you want to tax the upper middle so much more by eliminating the Bush tax "cut ne increase".. see: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/loyal-opposition/2012/aug/24/another-tax-deception-the-bush-tax-incre/

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beatrice 1 year, 12 months ago

You know what I hate? Strawman arguments that are nothing more than quasi-political attacks.

If someone is against abortions of any sort, including in cases of rape, would it be correct to ask that person: Do you hate rape victims? Wouldn't the better question in such a case be: Do you hate the laws that allow people to get abortions?

That isn't what we find here. Instead, it is specific -- do you despise certain individuals, like that could be the only reason you are against the taxes they pay.

Ronda, it isn't about the people, it is about the policies. It is a shame you won't acknowledge this fact.

Oh, and yes, I do believe people lose their common sense during an election period. I most certainly do.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 12 months ago

My lord, I agree with Bea - and Rhonda. I am not sure rhonda was making it personal.

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LadyJ 1 year, 12 months ago

Reminds me of a discussion my sister and I had the other day. Is it the person you hate or their actions? Think about it. If they behaved in a way you liked, you would then like them, or is it their behavior you like? Kind of like relatives, you love them because they are family, but you can't deal with them or be around them.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 12 months ago

"Armstrong and Hoots, it's nice to see you have the common sense that eluded Kat and Bea in discerning the blog topic."

I have to say, Rhonda, that if you legitimately think this is true, based on the quality of these people's responses, then the problem might be your own current allotment of common sense.

Nothing makes a bias more apparent or seem larger than viewing it through the lens of another entrenched, personal bias, you know.

"Do you feel people lose their common sense during the months prior to Presidential elections in political debate?"

Yes. You've illustrated that, but perhaps not in the manner in which you intended.

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verity 1 year, 12 months ago

http://truth-out.org/news/item/11129-the-conservative-psyche-how-ordinary-people-come-to-embrace-paul-ryans-cruelty

Scientific research into the way we think explains the reasons decent people wind up supporting horrific policies.

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jafs 1 year, 12 months ago

The ad about Romney's tax rate is about the difference between Obama's and Romney's policies.

Romney's plan would decrease his taxes and increase taxes on the middle class, while Obama's would do the reverse.

Also, as far as the Bush tax cuts that Obama continued, he wanted to remove them for top earners and continue them for lower ones, but R opposition forced him to choose to either continue them in their entirety or get rid of them.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 12 months ago

JAFS he had the votes to do it his way.

He is not proposing even returning to the pre Bush rates fot the monied interests. Many people on here, including as I recall you, argue for elimination of all of the "Bush Tax Cuts". That would not restore the rich to the pre-Reagan rates but it would in fact be a tax increase above any previous tax level for the upper middle - $69K- $150K Why? Do they not pay enough already??

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tbaker 1 year, 12 months ago

How come no one talks about "Payroll Taxes" which nail 100% of the working class earning a wage or salary? A high percentage of the so-called "rich" don't have a "job" subject to payroll taxes. Politicians don't talk about payroll taxes becuase both parties know thats where the real money to fund government entitlement programs comes from. Debates about income tax "breaks" (set up by both parties) divide and distract people from the real issue.

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jafs 1 year, 12 months ago

Politicians certainly do talk about those, in fact we've have a break on payroll taxes for the last few years.

In theory, they go to Medicare and SS, but the government spends the money on other things.

Given that problem, entitlement programs will in fact be paid for by other taxes pretty soon, I'd say.

And, if true, the fact that lots of rich people don't pay payroll taxes is yet another reason to tax their income at a higher level.

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jafs 1 year, 12 months ago

Source for that claim? My recollection is different from that.

And, I have never argued for a complete repeal of the cuts - don't know where you get that idea.

I'm in favor of higher tax rates for the rich, including taxing capital gains and other income at the same rate as earned income, at least.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 12 months ago

My faulty memory. i stand corrected. Glad to hear that. Wonder if Kat and Bea agree??

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jafs 1 year, 11 months ago

Most liberals do, so I imagine they would as well.

Waiting for a source that Obama had the votes to pass his version of the repeal - I don't remember it that way at all.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 11 months ago

I will go recreate it. I posted it once but I can not find it. has to do with control of house and senate at a specific point in time namely the August before the last election. The house had the Democratic majority for the first two years. The Senate had a period when even a filibuster could have been blocked.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 12 months ago

Wonder if they took advantage of capital gains. Wonder if there are special tax rules fro television performers?

If you are trying to make a difference between performance elites and business elites IMHO it would be too small to stand on. The both go off to "the hill" to get their income protected form the current not very progresive system.

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jafs 1 year, 12 months ago

Can't think of one, but Wesley Snipes is in jail for tax evasion.

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verity 1 year, 12 months ago

"When was the last time Brangelina, Oprah, Lindsay or Brittney were given a government bailout?"

Good point, Ag. Once again apples and oranges being compared.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 12 months ago

"At some point, you've made enough money." From a Frank Marshall Davis-influenced source.

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